Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 200 and Snapdragon 400 chipsets for affordable smartphones

Following the launch of the Snapdragon 600 and 800 at the CES earlier this year which were meant for high-end smartphones and tablets, Qualcomm today announced two new processors— the Snapdragon 200 and the Snapdragon 400. These processors are targeted at entry-level and mid-range phones respectively.

The Snapdragon 400 processor will feature an Adreno 305 GPU with support for 3D and two CPU options— Dual Krait CPUs running at up to 1.7GHz per core featuring Asynchronous Symmetric Multiprocessing (aSMP) and Quad ARM Cortex A7 CPUs running at up to 1.4GHz per core for entry-level devices. They will also support modem technologies like TDSCDMA, DC-HSPA+ (42Mbps), 1x Advanced, W+G CDMA and multi-SIM capabilities like Dual Standby (DSDS) and Dual Active (DSDA).

In addition to these, it will also feature LPDDR2 or LPDDR3 RAM (Low Power Double Data Rate), advanced camera features with support for up to 13.5-megapixels, Miracast, which allows wireless streaming of content from a mobile device to an HDTV and support for video capture and playback at 1080p. The quad-core Cortex A7 processor option would compete with Mediatek’sMT6589 quad-core chipset that already powers devices like the Micromax Canvas HD.

The Snapdragon 200 on the other hand, is meant for entry-level smartphones and will feature Quad ARM Cortex A5 CPUs with support to up to 1.4GHz per core, Hexagon QDSP5 architecture, Adreno 203 GPU and LPDDR2 RAM. It will also support HD video playback, CDMA multimode/UMTS modem options, high-accuracy GPS, multi-SIM capabilities including dual-SIM dual standby and support a camera of up to 8-megapixels.

The Snapdragon 200 will bring the concept of quad-core processors to smartphones in the $100-$150 bracket, which would make for a good marketing strategy, especially for homegrown brands. However, its performance remains to be seen considering we are literally scraping the bottom of the barrel with the Cortex A5 cores and an Adreno 203 GPU.

Qualcomm says that devices running on these new chipsets will be available in the market later this year. It will be interesting to see how MediaTek reacts, especially to the Snapdragon 200.

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